A QUICK NIP OF GIN HISTORY
The history of the martini is not as clear as its colour, and its origin story is swirled with mythology. While we do know that the martini came about in the 19th century, some believe it was first knocked up by the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco, while others say it was invented by bar manager Martini di Arma di Taggia at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York. To complicate things even more, those who live in the city of Martinez, California claim that the drink is an adaptation of the martinez cocktail, which is made from gin, vermouth and pickled fruit.
However it got here, it was during the Prohibition era in the US that the concoction really shot to fame, thanks to the ease of manufacturing bootleg gin. And after earning a celebrity following, including Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Alfred Hitchcock, the martini rose to prominence as one of the most popular and sophisticated tipples of the 20th century.
In recent years, new versions, or alternatinis, have emerged with cocktails such as the appletini and espresso martini having their moments in the bar light. But really, these have little in common with the original martini, instead, their names derive from the conical glass that holds them.